The NYU hoodie was hanging from my wardrobe again.
I narrowed my eyes at the purple sweatshirt and debated whether or not leaving the downy abundance of my duvet to stuff the material into a crumpled mess away from my weary eyes was worth it or not.
I was so tired, so exhausted after my late night adventures with my best friend Lizzie last night that I sunk back into my bliss. I’ll get rid of the damned thing later.
My mother and I had an ongoing unspoken battle; nicknamed by yours truly as The Battle of My Future.
Why, you ask? Because that’s exactly what that hoodie stood for – my future.
New York University was my university of choice. It had a brilliant journalism and creative writing course and was located, as the name gives away, in the city of dreams. New York had a thriving media industry and was the world’s capital for journalism and it was where I wanted to go.
Well, before it was. Now was a different story.
Of course, I couldn’t confess about the drug dealing to mom; the reason I met Lizzie.
No, I didn’t meet my best friend after she gave me some drugs. She deals, but Lizzie hates drugs – absolutely despises them. And she wasn’t dealing that night.
I was the drug dealer.
Not any big time stuff, and I wasn’t a willing participant either.
And before you totally dismiss me and tell me I had a choice – even though I was forced – would you be willing to disagree with a man who was holding a gun against your skull?
It was only a few bags, for a group of guys waiting outside the nightclub I was confronted at. The distributor didn’t want the buyers to see his face, nor risk getting caught and done by the cops for supplying four bags of cocaine.
So, poor little me was meanwhile out front making a phone call to my vexation stricken parents, when I was grabbed into an alleyway between the club and the next building along.
Next thing I knew, a weedy, zombie-like man was in my face stating his orders to me. He wanted me to deliver four bags of cocaine drug to a group of three guys in a car park located behind the row of buildings the club sat on. I would have easily refused and thrown the man off me, if it wasn’t for the solid metal of a gun barrel planted firmly on the side of my head.
Now tell me you would’ve said no.
The moral side of my brain was screaming no, drug dealing went against everything I believed in – but that side of my brain was about to be blown to chunks, so I listened to my hammering heart and stared at the man’s wild eyes as I stammered a yes.
I took the bags, walked with the man – gun still pointed at me – and he stood in the shadows of the architecture as he pointed out a couple of cars about two hundred yards away. I was simply to hand the bags over and take the five thousand dollars – yes, five freakin’ thousand – before walking back here and returning the money to its ‘rightful owner.’
Long story short, it didn’t go as planned. The bodybuilder guys I was delivering the drugs to claimed they'd agreed on five bags and, after I defended myself, they decided beating me to a pulp was going to get them what they wanted. There was a girl – Lizzie – who was for some reason passing by when she saw the scene. Don’t ask me how, but she managed to kill four fully-grown, muscly adult men with some incredible self-defense moves I’d only ever seen in movies before then.
Obviously, I was freaked the hell out and thought she might even turn on me, but instead, Lizzie offered her hand – which I hesitantly took – and helped pull me to my feet. I was injured badly, I could feel blood trickling down the side of my face and my ribs had snapped when a couple of the men had kicked me so, after snitching the five thousand total and car keys to one of the two Ferrari’s the men had dove here in from the dead men’s pockets, Lizzie drove me to the nearest hospital and reassured me that the police wouldn’t come after us.
When I called my parents later from the hospital I simply told them I was jumped and Lizzie saved me from being mugged.
After that night, Lizzie kept popping up every where I went. The mall, gas station; you name it. If I was there Lizzie was too.
After the third encounter - which was at a local market - Lizzie invited me along to a street race she was attending. I remember my initial shock. Street races were illegal. Now, it’s more surprising if we spend our time doing something that is legal.
So, that’s how I met the only person I completely trust.
My mom and dad are both repulsed by Lizzie. Even though she did save me, they tell me they get a shifty feeling about her. It’s sickening as I know half the reason they don’t like Lizzie is because she comes from a beat-up part of town and she’s dirt poor. Both these statements are true, but my parents are so snobby and naïve to think that the amount of money a person has is equal to the human they are. They express their concern over how they think I’ve changed as I now swear at them and don’t want to be seen in public with them. “You don’t want to become a criminal! Your behaviour will accumulate to a downward spiral to theft if you keep hanging out with that scum-girl! We don’t like her!” Who can fucking blame me?
I’ve got to laugh at that one.
Too little, too late my parents.
They don’t even know the half of it.